Address of Catholicos of All Armenians

Address of Catholicos of All Armenians

Address of His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians On the Occasion of the Presidential Inauguration Ceremony of the Republic of Armenia
Yerevan, March 13, 2022

Honorable President of the Republic of Armenia;

Honorable President of the Artsakh Republic;

Honorable Prime Minister;

Honorable Speaker of the National Assembly, and Distinguished Guests:

Today we are taking part in the inauguration ceremony of the newly elected President of the Republic of Armenia: an important event in our patriotic life. On this occasion we bring our patriarchal blessings and best wishes to you, Mr. President, and to all our people.

Thirty years ago, our people rebuilt their independent statehood through a heroic struggle, going through a difficult path of struggles and trials. During those years, four presidents took over the leadership of the country on the way to the establishment of our statehood. Today, you assume that responsible position, which is the symbol of Armenia’s independent statehood.

Your tenure begins at a difficult time, when the homeland is still wounded by the catastrophic losses of the Artsakh war; when the challenges of the war’s aftermath are not overcome; when our children are still in captivity; when an atmosphere of social polarization continues to disturb the soul of our people.

Today, the situation in our country concerns us all: the fragile peace in Armenia and Artsakh; the issue of protecting the rights of the Artsakh Armenians; the peaceful and fair settlement of the conflict; the uncertainty of the future. We are concerned about dangers and conflicts shaking the world, about complex geopolitical and regional developments.

In the face of these present trials, our priority must be to enact an agenda of reconciliation here at home: a restoration of national unity, and the formation of a common vision for the future of the homeland. Our national objectives must be to overcome existing problems, strengthen our statehood, pursue security issues, and direct our unified national energy for the benefit of the nation and the people.

We note with regret that our people are divided not only in Armenia but also in the Diaspora. In addition to the worrying developments in the homeland, the Diaspora also has its own crisis of identity and internal problems. Thus, strengthening Diaspora communities and traditional organizations should also be a priority for our homeland.

As the head of state, it is within the competence of the President of the Republic to pursue the rule of justice and law in the country and the protection of our national interests. By pursuing these, Mr. President, you will contribute to healing the wounds of our people and homeland, while promoting the progress of the state and building a secure future. We pray that your oath, made before God and the people, will always be a source of strength, power, and unwavering devotion to accomplish your responsible, difficult mission.

The Armenian Church, faithful as always to its calling and service, will naturally continue its cooperation with the native state in line with the spirit of the Constitution—for the sake of our independent statehood, and our people’s peace, welfare, solidarity, and unified life, always guided by the apostle’s exhortation: “Be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind” (Philippians 2:2).

Through every trial of our history, our cherished values have been the anchor of national unity and patriotic achievements. Today, our national value system must be preserved as a sacred inheritance: it is the guarantee of our identity and existence, and the solid foundation for the education and upbringing of the children of our people.

We have paid a high price for the restoration of an independent state. Thus, we urge our entire nation to live and to be led by the consciousness that this homeland is God’s gift to our people. Each of us is called to make every commitment, to spare no effort, for the sake of the power and brightness of our country. By faith let us be renewed, and bless our lives with unfailing love and piety. The psalmist writes: “O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together” (Psalm 34:3). In the same spirit, let us work together in a God-pleasing effort, empowered by hope and optimism, to secure a bright future for us all.

We pray to God Almighty to advance our people to a new horizon of security and dignity. May He bring peace to the world, and especially to our homeland of Armenia and Artsakh. May He strengthen all our faithful children with the patience to endure.

And may our Heavenly Lord’s grace, love, and mercy be with all of us, and with all mankind—today and always. Amen.

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